Winona Ryder: ‘Film success made my teen life hell’


Winona Ryder has always felt like an outsider and her acting success has only made things worse.

The actress became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood thanks to roles in cult films such as Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, but while she was killing it onscreen, she struggled at school and in real-life.

Winona Ryder/Johnny Depp - Edward Scissorhands
20th Century Fox

In a candid new interview with Marie Claire magazine, the actress admits her early film success in the 1980s had a really negative impact on her social life, because schoolmates began to think she was just like the kooky characters she played.

“I remember thinking, ‘Ooh, (Beetlejuice) is, like, the number one movie, this is going to make things great at school’,” Ryder tells the publication. “But it made things worse. They called me a witch.”

Warner Bros.

Very private away from the cameras, Ryder hated all the attention that came with fame and following a shoplifting arrest in 2001, the disgraced star opted to take a break from Hollywood – a hiatus that lasted almost 15 years.

She returned to the spotlight as Joyce Byers in last year’s (16) Netflix hit Stranger Things, but could not have imagined the dark show and her character would be so beloved.

Winona found the press attention “overwhelming” and was shocked to discover that fans were dressing up as her character for parties.

The success of the drama prompted the actress’ managers to suggest she should have a social media presence to capitalize on the TV hit, but Winona insisted that was never going to happen.

“People who I really respect talk about ‘relevance’, but I’m like, ‘I don’t care, leave me alone’.”